Building the foundation of our outdoor legacy
Public lands have been a part our nation’s fabric since the creation of Yellowstone National Park – America’s first “public lands” – in 1872. President Theodore Roosevelt created the Forest Service in 1905, leading to the creation of our modern public lands system – including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which manages our national wildlife refuges.
This uniquely American concept of public lands has paid off in spades. Millions flock to national parks each year, businesses thrive near national monuments, we enjoy clean water from our national forests, and our treasured wildlife find their homes in wildlife refuges. These are just a few of the benefits of our treasured public lands.
From the mountains of the Targhee National Forest to the deserts of Canyonlands National Park to the great open plains of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, these lands provide vital economic, environmental and social benefits across the country. The outdoor recreation industry alone, largely driven by activity on public lands, generates over $646 billion annually.